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Sennheiser HD800S Review (Headphone)

threni

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"Here is a great track to use to test the above effect:"

I'm in the UK and I see "this video is not available".

Great review, though.
 

Koeitje

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Coincidentally I experimented a bit with the bass contour of Audyssey again yesterday evening and came to the same conclusion as I have before.
I still find a steady line from low bass to high treble to sound more natural to me than the preference curves.
I think the preference curve is probably the sort of thing I personally would have liked in my teens and twenties but not that which I prefer now.
I don't even like it watching tv. Edit, in fact it was finding it overblown on tv sound effects that made me check it out and reduce it again.
It's probably due to your age (no offense intended :D ). You don't hear the higher frequencies as well as you used to and more bass drowns them out even more. If you still hear the treble loud and clearly you need some extra bass to compensate.
 

Degru

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I think it would be useful to measure distortion at a given SPL before and after equalization, including the extra amplification needed to overcome the preamp reduction. This would be very useful to see whether the headphones respond well to EQ or not, especially in the bass. It's something I've never really seen people do.
 
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amirm

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You need to try a pair of Focal Clear then, they have the same imaging attributes as the HD800, but more enhanced (I have the original 800, but I assume after EQ, the 800 and 800S are similar)
Focal clear is here as well. :)
 

pavuol

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HD800s.jpg


comparison of HD650 and HD800 drivers (former non "S" model, guess the HD800S doesn't differ substantially /?/ )
40mm / 56mm
HD800d_big.jpg

src
 

wasnotwasnotwas

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Focal clear is here as well. :)

Nailbiting stuff. I find the subjective parts of the review fascinating. I'm convinced that whilst FR might well be the most important part of a HP review, what happens after you eq and the other attributes are what sets the great apart from the good.

You would agree, I assume, that you cannot make a 650 "sound like" an 800S?

I'd be very interested to see what you'd make of the Hifiman /drop 4xx. By all accounts good FR stock, its a "nice" listen, but not a stellar experience IMO. Not comparable with some of the greats.
 

threni

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I wonder if it's possible to measure things like separation of instruments (and some other aspects you mentioned)?
 

Frank Dernie

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It's probably due to your age (no offense intended :D ). You don't hear the higher frequencies as well as you used to and more bass drowns them out even more. If you still hear the treble loud and clearly you need some extra bass to compensate.
This is ridiculous.
I still listen to real life with the same ears I use to listen to my hifi.
I have seen this sort of comment before about compensating for age related hearing loss and there is not even a tiny glimmer of logic to it.
My reference is the outside world and the many, many more concerts I have been to since I was young and, hence, a much keener knowledge of what real acoustic music, as opposed to music from speakers, actually sounds like.
Any relationship with my age is more knowledge and experience. When I was young and had pretty well only heard music over speakers, and almost exclusively pop music at that, I am sure I would have liked the preference curve Harman have assembled from a lot of listeners.
Now I am very much more knowledgeable and experienced I definitely do not.
Talking preference back in the day nearly everybody I knew had the "loudness" contour on and/or the bass turned up. "Preference" IME has little to do with accurate reproduction.
 

3125b

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The differences in driver tech are interesting indeed.
Since the Focal Clear is coming up, we`ll see how it compres here with its tweeter-inspired aluminium membrane (looks the same as Elex shown here):
c0018nu6l0r21.jpg
 

MayaTlab

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and from what I read from the Harman curve it's more or less a preference curve by individuals and the default curve are mostly young guys, which from experience tend to prefer some very bass heavy pub music? in that sense it seems to me the curve is actually deviates from bass neutral in a well treated studio setup.

Nah its bass level is what corresponds to the preference of a majority of users, regardless of their training or age for the most part.
There are large minorities of users who prefer a slightly different tuning in the bass department, either more (predominantly young males) or less (either older people or predominantly females), but it really isn't that much and certainly not enough to consider the HD800/HD650's bass response un-EQed adequate to most people - according to their research.
 

threni

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This is ridiculous.
I still listen to real life with the same ears I use to listen to my hifi.
I have seen this sort of comment before about compensating for age related hearing loss and there is not even a tiny glimmer of logic to it.
My reference is the outside world and the many, many more concerts I have been to since I was young and, hence, a much keener knowledge of what real acoustic music, as opposed to music from speakers, actually sounds like.
Any relationship with my age is more knowledge and experience. When I was young and had pretty well only heard music over speakers, and almost exclusively pop music at that, I am sure I would have liked the preference curve Harman have assembled from a lot of listeners.
Now I am very much more knowledgeable and experienced I definitely do not.
Talking preference back in the day nearly everybody I knew had the "loudness" contour on and/or the bass turned up. "Preference" IME has little to do with accurate reproduction.

If your ears are less capable of physically receiving higher frequencies as well as you did when younger, and you want to be able to hear them like that now, then you need to turn up the treble, right? You can't do that in real life without a hearing aid or whatever, but I'm sure many people would if they could. No-one's doubting that the older you are the more potential there is for having learnt stuff and being wise etc, but I'm not sure what that has to do with natural physical damage to ears due to ageing.
 

MayaTlab

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Nailbiting stuff. I find the subjective parts of the review fascinating. I'm convinced that whilst FR might well be the most important part of a HP review, what happens after you eq and the other attributes are what sets the great apart from the good.

You would agree, I assume, that you cannot make a 650 "sound like" an 800S?

It's unclear whether equalising two different headphones to the exact same target on the exact same test rig will produce the exact same frequency response at your own eardrum.
Perhaps the HD800(S), because of its construction, interacts in a way that is more speaker-like with our pinna and as a result sounds more consistently spatially "accurate" (no idea what that means for headphones to be honest) across most users - and not just test rigs.
 

5th element

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I will do more work in the future to sensitivity but for now I am just reporting what the drive voltage is to achieve the 94 dBSPL reference. As I note later, 94 dBSPL is rather quiet so don't get confused thinking 0.26 volts is all you need to drive this headphone. But as a reference it should do to make comparison against other headphones.

Wait what? Most people consider 94dB as very loud and I certainly do. Most of my listening is much quieter than this. I'm wondering if you're going deaf Amir!

Nice to see that my much beloved HD650s have good reason for being.
 
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